Planning for home improvement is an exciting time, whether you’re looking to build an extension, a new garage or an outbuilding. One of the big factors you have to consider is what type of roof you are going to use on your project.
Generally, there is a choice between a flat roof and a pitched roof. This decision can have a profound impact on the result of the project, as well as impact ongoing maintenance and performance. More often than not, the decision is made for you – you may have a project in which you only have the space to install a flat roof for example.
However, if you have a choice, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of each option to ensure you’re fully aware of the type of roof that’d work best for you. Let’s look at the two options so you can decide which works best for you moving forward.
A flat roof, as the name suggests, is a roof that is typically level; however, there is a misconception that flat roofs are 100% flat. Depending on the project, flat roofs sometimes have an incline to so that the rain water can drain off and also to prevent leaks. However, sometimes, the roof is completely flat in situations in which the roof will be walked on. So what are the pros and cons of a flat roof?
- The slight slope still allows rainwater to drain, whilst also offering the appealing ‘flat’ aesthetic.
- Flat roofs are often the cheapest option of the two due to the simplicity of the roof in comparison to pitched roofing.
- Flat roofs are also versatile and practical, as people are able to scale them if needed.
- They take less head height than pitched roof which can help to meet planning permission requirements for extensions.
- You can make customisations to them to really maximise light and space.
- Flat roofing materials have been much improved over the years. For example, Alwitra roofing systems are single ply solutions that are hardwearing, waterproof, durable and weather resistant and so offer a robust solution.
- Some flat roofing options can be walked on providing the foundations meet regulations, opening up additional usable space on the property.
Now, flat roofs are not without their disadvantages, and you need to be aware of these before you can make the right decision.
- Whilst reputable companies guarantee the lifespan of a flat roof for 20 to 30 years, they generally have a shorter lifespan than their pointed counterparts, and they typically require more maintenance and upkeep.
- Some types of extension or construction ideas will not be possible with a flat roof, and this is something to look into in advance.
Pitched roofs are typically seen in housing projects but are increasingly a popular option for extensions and outbuildings should the space allow for them. They are favoured for their waterproof and durability qualities. Here are some of the things to consider if you want to go for a pitched roof for your project.
- A pitched roof will give the best possible drainage that you can get.
- A pitched roof will offer greater longevity, resulting in less maintenance than flat roofs.
- They’re built to withstand adverse weather conditions such as snow, water, ice or high winds – they’re very resistant.
- Future buyers may prefer a pitched roof as this means that they’re not as likely to need to spend on repairs.
- Very aesthetically appealing, improving the way your home looks and your curb appeal!
- Pitched roofs are essential for maximising the space for loft conversions. Higher ceilings or roof pitches equal more usable space.
- A pitched roof will allow for better thermal insulation, resulting in a warmer or more pleasant room as well as significant energy savings.
- Perhaps the biggest cons of pitched roofs is the fact that they are more expensive than flat roofs, and they typically tend to take longer to install. The increased labour and additional materials can increase initially outlay, but you do largely get what you pay for with this type of roofing option.
- You may not get planning permission for a pitched roof. There are likely to be height restrictions so check with your local planning authority.
- Repairs are perhaps more expensive due to access issues and the specialist work needed to fix complex issues.
As you can see, both of these roof styles have advantages and disadvantages. Your decision will largely depend on the type of project, the restrictions imposed on you and your personal preference. For example, if you’re planning to live in your house for a long period of time, you may not be as adverse to spending a bit more on a pitched roof. With that said, there are many flat roofing options that look excellent and offer great longevity. View our range of flat roofing options here for more information.